Friday, May 20, 2005

The Globe and Mail: U.S. protests British tabloid's photos of captive Saddam

I really have no desire to see Saddam in his underwear for any reason, but it's not like I can really muster up any sympathy for the guy or anything. However, the part that bothers me is this is just another example of things we say we don't do to prisoners, only to find out that we actually do do it. And with all the things we have found out about, I wonder how many there are that still remain secret.

“We take seriously our responsibility to ensure the safety and security of all detainees,” the statement said.

How is anyone supposed to be able to take that statement seriously at this point? If these pictures of Saddam were some isolated incident, that would probably be pretty believable, and anyway, who really cares what indignities Saddam has to suffer? But the fact is, these pictures are actually about the least objectionable thing out of all the examples we've seen of this kind of thing. It's really hard to even get upset about this at all, considering who the subject is, and how tame these pictures are compared to others. But that's kind of sad because we are supposed to be above this kind of thing, and any indication that we don't treat prisoners how we say we do just makes us look like a bunch of hypocrites. And while it looks like all the officails are saying all the right things in this case, it's really hard to believe anything when this seems to be part of such a pattern these days.

I wish we were in a position where we could say that these pictures are a fluke, that they don't represent how we treat our prisoners, and that it would be investigated and not allowed to happen again. A position where we could say we are above this kind of thing and mean it, and be believed, but sadly, we aren't, and I think that sucks.

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